Catalog Archive
Auction 118, Lot 684

"Palatium Imperatorum Pragae Quod Vulgo Ratzin Appelatur [on sheet with] Praga Regni Bohemiae metropolis", Braun & Hogenberg

Subject: Czech Republic, Prague

Period: 1588 (circa)

Publication: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, part V

Color: Hand Color

19.5 x 14 inches
49.5 x 35.6 cm

Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum or "Cities of the World" was published between 1572 and 1617. Within the six volumes, 531 towns and cities were depicted on 363 plates, providing the reader with the pleasures of travel without the attendant discomforts. Braun wrote in the preface to the third book, "What could be more pleasant than, in one's own home far from all danger, to gaze in these books at the universal form of the earth . . . adorned with the splendor of cities and fortresses and, by looking at pictures and reading the texts accompanying them, to acquire knowledge which could scarcely be had but by long and difficult journeys?" Braun and Hogenberg incorporated an astonishing wealth of information into each scene beyond the city layout and important buildings. The plates provide an impression of the economy and prominent occupations, and illustrate local costumes, manners and customs.

This sheet contains two fabulous views of Prague, the ancient capital of Bohemia and the capital of the Holy Roman Empire during the reign of Charles IV. The panoramic views are based on the drawings of Georg Hoefnagel. The upper view depicts the Archiepiscopal Palace, Hradcany Castle & St. Vitus Cathedral. The lower panorama shows the city from the southeast with the Josefske mesto (Josef's town or the Jewish quarter) left, Stare mesto (Old Town) & Nove mesto (New Town) at center. The famous 14th century Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava river to the Mala Strana (Little Quarter) on the right, with the Hradcany Castle perched on a hill overlooking the city. German text on verso.


Condition: A

Sharp impression and fine period-correct color. Professional repair of a tear or crease just left of bottom centerfold. Some soil in margins.

Estimate: $1,500 - $1,800

Sold for: $2,200

Closed on 3/6/2007